If you are managing to travel at the moment, within your own country or to a location that is accessible via a travel bridge, you’re probably experiencing a different type of holiday than you are used to. Travelling during a pandemic has many restrictions and implications, but one way to ensure that you get the most out of your travels is by planning on spending as much time as possible outdoors. Here’s a list of several ways that you can practice social distancing while enjoying the fresh air. Our top tip would be to avoid organised activities with other people, and to get out on your own to enjoy the great outdoors.
Get into forest bathing
Forest bathing is a Japanese tradition that simply involves taking yourself for a slow, relaxing walk in the woods. The aim is to relieve stress and anxiety by immersing yourself in nature and allowing your senses to fully enjoy your surroundings. Smell the scent of the trees, notice how the light shines through the trees and listen to the call of the birds. If you aren’t in the vicinity of a forest, search for a leafy park or green area close by.
Enjoy a wild swim
Wild swimming is invigorating while also having a calming effect. Swimming also has multiple benefits for your physical health, so find your nearest body of water and leap into it for a refreshing outdoor swim. Wherever you are travelling, you are sure to have a beach, river, lake or even just a small pool for dipping close by. If you’re visiting a cold climate, take a wetsuit or copy the Scandinavians and alternate between cold dips and warming hot tub or sauna sessions.
Take a long hike
The easiest way to explore the place you are visiting while staying clear of other people is by going for a long walk. If you’re staying in a rural or wilderness area, it should be simple to set off walking into the wild. Make sure you stick to the trails and are prepared with everything you need for your walk, taking note of the difficulty rating of the route you are tackling and ensuring you are fit and able. If you’re visiting a city, get pounding the pavements and walk around rather than taking public transport, paying attention to the architecture and sights along the way.
Hire bikes or kayaks
Wherever you are staying, do your research to discover if you can hire a bike, kayak or alternative for an interesting way to explore your local area. You could take yourself for a long bike ride into the countryside, kayak down a river or paddle board in the ocean, enjoying the tranquillity while getting in some exercise. You’ll be surprised how interesting it is to see a location in a different way – from on two wheels or on the water.
Explore National Parks
If you’re not usually an outdoorsy person, break your way into the scene by exploring National Parks. You’ll usually find good maps and signage, tourist information centres and lots of options for accommodation close by. Stay close to the signposted trails and take the routes suggested for beginners, easing yourself into the great outdoors.
Visit rural and wilderness areas
For those who already love spending time in the great outdoors, do your research and head off the beaten track. Visit lesser-known destinations, heading off into the wilderness in search of quiet, peaceful locations. Stay clear of more popular areas and relish the thought of losing your wifi signal, relishing in the opportunity to take a break from technology and the worries of everyday life.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.